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Maxine Broadbent

Maxine Broadbent

Women in Crime and Thriller Fiction between 1951 and 1961

Discipline/professional area
Social Sciences and Humanities


Outline of research project

This project considers the position of women in crime novels and thrillers between 1951 and 1961. Both main and secondary characters will be examined, focussing on factors such as characterisation, social context, social changes and readership background. The view that feminist thinking was somehow in abeyance in the post war years has already been contested in sociological studies and in studies of films and romantic literature of the period. I should now like to ask if characters in another popular literary genre also convey feminist principles in advance of those in the recognised feminist literature of the 1960s and 1970s.

Key References

Bell, Melanie Femininity in the Frame (London, I.B. Tauris, 2010)

Head, Dominic, The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Fiction 1950-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Humble, Nicola, The Feminine Middlebrow Novel 1920s to 1950s (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001)

Philips, Deborah & Haywood, Ian, Brave New Causes - Women in British Post War Fictions (London, Leicester University Press 1998)

Weinman, Sarah, Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s (Library of America, 2015)

Director of studies
Professor Chris Hopkins

Professor Lisa Hopkins

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